Vermont’s most commonly utilized bullying prevention programs do not involve theatre as a learning tool. The Theatre-in-Action Bullying Prevention Program is Vermont’s only arts-integrated anti-bullying education program. We teach key concepts in anti-bullying awareness while teaching vital theatre skills for confidence-building, risk-taking, and empathy-building.
Theatre-in-Action elicits students’ ideas about inequalities in their school community and asks, “What would you do to change these problems? What are your solutions?” When youth are allowed to critically examine their proposed solutions for a familiar problem by acting them out, they take responsibility for their choices because they see, hear, and feel those choices in action, on a stage, with the support of their peers.
“Theatre-in-Action helped me know the meaning of bullying. I learned different forms of bullying. Sometimes I bully and I never realized how much it hurts others. I learned that it’s okay to just be yourself.” - Josh
The Theatre-in-Action drama-integrated bullying prevention program allows students to envision and enact healthy solutions to bullying. Our workshops involve all members of the educational community in physical, emotional, and social learning about conflict and oppression.
“I like that Kim is so enthusiastic and fun and helps us look at how serious bullying is in a fun way.” – Karen
Theatre-in-Action has ten key learning objectives that guide our bullying prevention program:
1) To define bullying, harassment, and various types of bullying behavior
2) To recognize and name the roles typically found in bullying situations
3) To creatively and critically examine why bullying occurs
5) To introduce structures and opportunities for students to practice perspective-taking, acting, and role-reversal in bullying situations
6) To empower students to generate, predict, monitor, and find their own solutions to social problems
7) To embody non-verbal communication and body language (posture, gesture, eye contact) that helps prevent bullying
8) To explore the connection between thoughts, needs, feelings, and actions
9) To motivate bystanders to intervene when they witness bullying
10) To demonstrate friendship and empathy skills
“I think Theatre-in-Action is good for kids because some kids don’t know that they’re acting like bullies. I learned that bullying doesn’t just hurt the victim, it also hurts others.” – Sadie
The Theatre-in-Action Bullying Prevention Program:
- Easily partners with a school’s existing anti-bullying curriculum such as the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
- Meets select educational expectations outlined in the Vermont Department of Education Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities for Personal Development, Communication, Reasoning and Problem Solving, and Civic/Social Responsibility
- Links with Responsive Classroom practices
- Links with Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) practices
“I learned that it’s okay to stand up and speak out!” – Linsey